Monday, March 31, 2014

coconut curry soup with mushrooms and bok choy

Mmmmmm. Such a good combination. I found a recipe for a coconut bok choy soup on pinterest but it was raw. I'm sure it would have been amazing, but I thought those same ingredients would make an incredible hot soup for dinner... I was right. 

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 Tbsp Bragg's Amino Acids
  • 13.5 oz can of coconut milk, I used lite
  • 1 cup veggie broth
  • 2 cups water (plus extra to mix with cornstarch)
  • 2 Tbsp corn starch
  • 9 white mushrooms
  • 3 heads bok choy
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Heat a tiny bit of olive oil in a pot and throw in the onion and garlic. After a few minutes add all spices and Bragg's, cook for a few minutes to toast spices. Add coconut milk, veggie broth, and water. Mix the two Tbsp corn starch with enough water to dissolve it. Add to soup. Cut mushrooms into bite size pieces and add to soup. Cut ends off bok choy heads and rinse each leaf, thinly slice. 

When mushrooms are nearly cooked add the chopped bok choy. Cook to your liking. It's nice to have the green still very green but be sure to cook it long enough to soften the stalks. I do a lot of taste testing  while mine is cooking, no timer needed. 

I added my fresh chopped parsley right before serving the soup into bowls. I have it in my garden so it literally goes into everything! Its nice but not necessary.

And with all of this spring rain, it just feels like a good night for soup! Mushrooms are a natural source of vitamin D (needed in rainy weather like this) and bok choy is a good source of calcium. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

school lunch

Its not what it used to be. No more brown paper sacks with pb&j; this is grown up school with grown up lunches. There is nothing better than sitting in math class and knowing that the lunch I get to indulge in immediately after solving those complex system of equations is a homemade quinoa salad, a fresh juice, and a green tea to keep me going through speech class. A good lunch is something to look forward to for the first half of your day, and give you energy and satisfaction to complete the afternoon. A good lunch can save the day.

So, here is one of my many midday pick-me-up, packable quinoa salads that should bring you a little lunchtime joy.

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 10 oz. bag of frozen peas
  • 15 oz. can of white beans (I used great northern)
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint (about 1/4 cup when chopped)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil (1/4 cup chopped)
  • juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 2 green onions
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Cook quinoa with water as directed. Mix with thawed peas and drained and rinsed beans. Finely chop mint, basil and green onions. Combine all ingredients with olive oil, salt & pepper, and lemon juice. And viola! A fresh and hearty lunch on the go!

Whenever I make a juice I always make enough for two. It can be a task dismantling and cleaning the juicer everyday, so make enough for two, and clean once! I know that the fresher the juice the better, but sometimes convenience trumps freshness. This juice was carrot, celery, cucumber, apple, and turmeric (basically whatever was in the fridge!).

Another lunchtime tip: green tea. I just put a green tea bag (usually STASH Moroccan Mint Green Tea) in a jar of water and let it marinate in my cooler all day, but the time I am ready to wash down my lunch, it is perfectly steeped!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


I remember my dad growing sprouts when I was little, but I didn't realize how easy, fun, and healthy it is for you! Growing micro-greens is growing a little tiny garden right on your kitchen counter.  Just imagine, fresh sprouted anything, grown right at home!

I got my first micro-greens kit for Christmas. It came with a little tray and cover, soil pellets (enough for two "crops"), seeds (broccoli and radish blend), and a little spray bottle to do the delicate watering.

If you buy a kit, it should come with some instructions, as mine did, but I'll walk you through it anyway, because its so fun.

1. Place soil pellets (enough for one batch, they should be separated) into tray and wet with enough water to magically create soil. These things remind me of those little cubes you add water to and they expand into a wash cloth, jeez those were fun. Feel the nostalgia while making soil. Add the water slowly and fluff with a fork, you don't want to make mud, just wet soil.

2. Spread soil evenly across tray. Now sprinkle one of the seed packets onto the soil, trying not to let the seeds clump together.

3. Give it a good spray with your little gentle sprayer. Spray the inside of the lid too. Cover and place in a cool dark place to allow seeds to germinate.

4. About every twelve hours spray seeds to keep them moist. You should see some action within the first 24 hours.

5. When the sprouts are 1 inch tall, remove the lid and place tray on the counter, in the sun if you can. Keep them moist! At this point you don't really have to use the mini sprayer, you can just pour a little water around the edges. (I use the sprayer the whole time just because I like it.)

6. Are you keeping track of your days? My micro-greens were ready to harvest a week after starting. They should be 3 to 4 inches tall. Trim close to the bottom with scissors and enjoy!!

Studies have shown that micro greens can contain up to five times the amount of vitamins and carotenoids than their mature variations. So grow your greens less, to get more.